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Old 12-29-2017, 11:51 AM   #1
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Boat buying blasphemy

Over many decades of boating on both coasts I have concluded that from a usability standpoint most modern plastic boats are equivalent.

Regardless of brand their owners use them similarly in similar conditions and on similar cruises. N.B. I am not talking passagemaking or crossing the Columbia river bar on the ebb. Just normal coastal cruising in settled weather.

Sure they are built differently, some stronger than others, some finished better or easier to maintain than others some with more creature comforts but I can't remember any case where that really mattered when the boats were used reasonably by owners smart enough to avoid dangerous conditions.

So while we endlessly debate boat brands look around and see all the other brands in your marina and waterways doing the same things seemingly independent of brand.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:33 PM   #2
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"Plastic boats"?

There is a difference and while most boats will get you from "A" to "B", some are better suited than others. Some go fast and use a lot of fuel, some only go slow and use far less fuel. Most of the fast boats don't handle well at slower speeds.

Some are much more useable for multi day or longer cruising. They are designed so the berth doesn't have to be converted to a dining table and back.

Some boats have very poor access to the bow or side decks for anchoring and docking.

There is a difference.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:53 PM   #3
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I tend to agree.....to a point.


An example: I've always felt that the bigger Bayliners (motor yacht sizes) offered a lot of boat for the money. They're spacious, well built, comfortable and represent a good value.


That being said, I had the opportunity to help a guy take his 58' Bayliner from Seattle to San Francisco. On the journey we had everything from calm seas with light swells to 6'-8' seas with a wind chop on top. The boat felt like a cork the way it was being bounced around. I asked the owner what the dry weight of the boat was and he said (IIRC) 48,000 pounds.


His boat was about the same size as mine and about 1.5' wider but is almost 10,000 pounds lighter. That makes a huge difference in the ride.


So I guess my point is that there may not be obvious, visible differences from one brand to another, there can be many differences that you don't see.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:03 PM   #4
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Please check out this pic of a downeaster after getting pounded while coming in at Oregon Inlet from the Atlantic. Sure this is a one in maybe a million happening, and I might be smart enough not to try that stupidity, but it sure would be nice to have a boat that wouldn't get bashed in like this.

Well sorry, it seems I can't find the pic on my computer. It shows the entire front windshield, frame and all bashed in due to the force of heavy seas hitting it. And downeasters are supposed to be built strong!

And FWIW, my Mainship Pilot 34 which the downeaster community turns their nose up for poor build quality, has an aluminum sheet in the front that ties the three front windshields together. I suspect mine would have come through ok in those conditions.

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Old 12-29-2017, 01:51 PM   #5
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Other than a handful, I have never thought production boats as strong.

All the "tanks" people describe make me chuckle....tbey have never truly repaired or mostly dismantled one.

Heck tbey brag about hull thickness, until you show them a Bayliner or Sea Ray hull core thicker and better laid up than theirs.

Quiets them right down....
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Old 12-29-2017, 02:16 PM   #6
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A better way to express the sentiment of the OP would be ďYou can have a lot of fun on a crap boat, donít let it stop you from enjoying this wonderful hobbyĒ

That being said if you have a crap boat please check the weather first
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Old 12-29-2017, 03:34 PM   #7
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I tend to agree with Bayview.

When I look around my marina, or scan the crowded anchorages, there are all shapes and sizes of boats, and they are all intact.

I think the key is that the owners are reasonable about watching weather conditions and only go out in suitable conditions for their boat.
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Old 12-29-2017, 03:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad View Post
I tend to agree with Bayview.

When I look around my marina, or scan the crowded anchorages, there are all shapes and sizes of boats, and they are all intact.

I think the key is that the owners are reasonable about watching weather conditions and only go out in suitable conditions for their boat.
Or not going out at all

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Old 12-29-2017, 04:28 PM   #9
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I guess your point is similar to looking at any roadway. At any given time, there are vehicles made of metal, with four rubber tires, and they are each conveying their occupants to a destination.

The folks in the high end cars are perhaps enjoying the journey more than a lower end car, and those folks are enjoying far more than a motorist in an old klunker.

But I see little to this point.

Are you saying we should not care about features/attributes of various boats since in "settled conditions" we can get from A to B?
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Old 12-29-2017, 04:44 PM   #10
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I see it differently. If the point is that most boats are of decent quality today, then I'll agree quickly. However, the differences in boats is extreme and they are used in many different ways. They might all seem the same to you, but then something tells me you're just looking at very similar boats. I can't say though that the usability is the same between a custom SF, a production trawler type boat, a sport boat, a high performance boat, a center console. Even narrowing it to a small group of boats like Fleming, Kadey Krogen, Nordhavn, American Tug, and Marlow. There is very little similarity between just those five boats and they're about as close a group as you can find.
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Old 12-29-2017, 04:58 PM   #11
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Not for one second do I consider the build quality of my DeFever the equal of a Fleming, Nordhavn or Sabre. A trip to a boat show easily illustrates the differences.

Nor are all FRP products or hull layup methods the same for even new boats. The list of quality differences amongst brands and eras can be significant. A detailed look at a new KK 52 vs a 25 year old KK54 is like night and day from the standpoint of materials, design, equipment and space utilization.

Kinda like saying my old 1985 Lincoln Continental has the same quality and engineering as a 2018 model. Oh well, Happy New Year.
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Old 12-29-2017, 05:57 PM   #12
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In general I find that higher end boats are the heavier boats. Is there a correlation between how heavy a boat is and itís seaworthiness?
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Old 12-29-2017, 06:10 PM   #13
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You can't assume all boats are equivalent because you look around your marina and see different types of boats. Obviously all boats in the marina are still viable....or they wouldn't still be in the marina. Take a look at a random sample of boats that were made 40 years ago, and then go see if the mix in your marina is the same. In otherwords....if Chris Craft sold twice as many boats as Egg Harbor in 1980, are there still twice as many in use today ? The difference in new boats may be marginal, but I think age will highlight the differences.
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Old 12-29-2017, 06:16 PM   #14
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The way I see the comment is more about usage. A boat that is working hard has scars whatever its quality.

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Old 12-29-2017, 07:40 PM   #15
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You can't assume all boats are equivalent because you look around your marina and see different types of boats. Obviously all boats in the marina are still viable....or they wouldn't still be in the marina. Take a look at a random sample of boats that were made 40 years ago, and then go see if the mix in your marina is the same. In otherwords....if Chris Craft sold twice as many boats as Egg Harbor in 1980, are there still twice as many in use today ? The difference in new boats may be marginal, but I think age will highlight the differences.


+1
I donít mean any offense by this, but someone that thinks that because there are boats of all makes still in the marina puts all boats on equal quality footing must have Harbor Freight tools in their tool box and thinks they are still high quality because they can still drive a screw. Sorry, but there ARE differences... and sometime big ones.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:50 PM   #16
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The bigger shame is all of the boats in marinas that never move or leave the slip, of owners that never visit. Those boats perform well in the slip.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:57 PM   #17
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Oh I can’t agree with the OP on this. I have owned a Chris craft, sea ray and now a marine trader. There are huge differences in just those 3. The Chris craft I wouldn’t consider taking to the Bahamas. The sea ray went to the Bahamas albeit a smaller boat. The marine trader went to the Bahamas and goes out every few weeks. The reason? She has a keel, handles the best of the three I had. I’m not talking aesthetics here. I’m talking engine performance and handling. BIG difference. In bayliner, it’s mostly aesthetics. The ones in my marina don’t move. Ever.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:58 PM   #18
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+1
I donít mean any offense by this, but someone that thinks that because there are boats of all makes still in the marina puts all boats on equal quality footing must have Harbor Freight tools in their tool box and thinks they are still high quality because they can still drive a screw. Sorry, but there ARE differences... and sometime big ones.
Ha ha, Harbor Tools analogy, good one.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:59 PM   #19
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The bigger shame is all of the boats in marinas that never move or leave the slip, of owners that never visit. Those boats perform well in the slip.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:23 PM   #20
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Sunchaser wrote;
“Kinda like saying my old 1985 Lincoln Continental has the same quality and engineering as a 2018 model. Oh well, Happy New Year.”

New things are better?
That’s often an assumption and very often it’s true. But very often it’s not.
There isn’t a car on the road now (I’ll bet) that is as comfortable as that Lincoln. And that’s a very important part of the car’s design.
The body parts of new cars are weak. If you were to fall and hit the fender or door of a new car there would likely be expensive damage.
New cars have tires that are very noisy. Old cars were far more quiet and smooth.

Boats are the same in this regard. Wood boats were quieter. But more important they were visually warm and inviting. FG boats and especially metal boats fall way short on this very important quality of a pleasure boat.
Metal boats and FG plastic boats very often (perhaps usually) are not fair. That is the surfaces of the hull and house is not flat or (most often) curved. But the curve is not even, constant or “fair”. Most prominent is the waveness on the sides of steel vessels. It matters very little on freighters or warships but is unsightly on a pleasure boat. But average wood boats were almost always fair.

When it comes to boats and cars if I could buy 1955 models I probably would. I’m an old man though and my tastes lean toward the past frequently but industry and consumers have turned their backs on many elements of quality in vehicles.
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